VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Supporters of liberal reform in the Catholic Church said on Monday they hoped Pope Benedict’s successor would give a greater voice to women and reconsider rules on priestly celibacy, women priests and same-sex couples.
Benedict, who, like his predecessor John Paul, firmly opposed the ordination of women priests and described gay marriage as a threat to humanity’s future, said on Monday he would resign at the end of February, announcing the first papal abdication in 700 years.
ROME (Reuters) – World food prices stabilized in January after falling in the previous three months, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday, but it warned that adverse crop weather could cause violent price spikes due to tight grains stocks.
Global food prices surged in mid-2012 following the worst U.S. drought in more than half a century and dry weather in other key grains exporters, raising fears of a food crisis similar to the one in 2008.
ROME (Reuters) – Religious leaders must convince women carrying out female genital mutilation that it is not required by scripture and it can cause infection, infertility or even death in young girls, African ministers said on Monday.
The practice is prevalent in 28 African countries and parts of the Middle East and Asia, notably Yemen, Iraqi Kurdistan and Indonesia. There are several types including partial or total removal of the genitalia and narrowing of the vaginal opening.
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti spoke of the importance of women’s rights on Monday, while his election rival Silvio Berlusconi sought to have his latest hearing in a trial for underage prostitution postponed.
Berlusconi’s “Bunga Bunga” sex scandal was one of the factors that cut short his last spell as prime minister in late 2011 at the height of the euro zone debt crisis.
ROME/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s 22-month civil war has ravaged vital infrastructure and halved the output of staple crops, the United Nations said on Wednesday, underscoring the lasting damage from which the country will take years to recover.
What began as a peaceful protest movement against President Bashar al-Assad has killed more than 60,000 people, devastated the economy and left 2.5 million people hungry.
ROME/BEIRUT, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Syria’s civil war has
ravaged vital infrastructure and halved output of staple crops,
the United Nations said on Wednesday, as a 22-month conflict
hardened by sectarian rivalry showed no sign of abating.
What began as a peaceful protest movement against President
Bashar al-Assad has killed more than 60,000 people, devastated
the economy and left 2.5 million people hungry.
ROME, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi has always been
most formidable with his back to the wall and he has played a
bold gamble by leaving the comfortable studios of his own
television empire to take on some of his fiercest critics ahead
of next month’s Italian election.
In previous campaigns, the 76-year-old media billionaire,
who owns Italy’s biggest private broadcaster, could rely on
respectful questions and no interruptions but after the scandal
and financial crisis that drove him from office in 2011, this
time, journalists have smelled blood.
ROME (Reuters) – Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right coalition is gaining ground ahead of next month’s elections, which could make it harder for Italy’s left to form a stable parliamentary majority, polls showed on Sunday.
The center left still looked on course to get most seats after the February 24-25 vote and lead efforts to tackle recession and unemployment in the euro zone’s third-largest economy.
The Vatican underlined its opposition to gay adoption on Sunday as same-sex marriage supporters staged a topless protest in front of the pope in St. Peter’s Square.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican underlined its opposition to gay adoption on Sunday as same-sex marriage supporters staged a topless protest in front of the pope in St. Peter’s Square.
The Vatican paper L’Osservatore Romano published a response to an Italian court’s rejection of an appeal by a father who feared his son would not have a balanced upbringing if he lived with his mother and her female partner.